1987 Maserati Biturbo

Elvis Presley's Stutz gets $297,000 in Las Vegas
Thursday, 10 November - Saturday, 12 November
Sale Price
11 November 2022
Sold Date
Lot Number
Unrestored original
Mecum Auctions
Auction House
Chassis no. ZAMFM1107HA331338. Rosso Maserati with black cloth top over tan leather. 2.5-liter twin-turbo V6, 5-speed, red alloy wheels, Cibie fog lights, boot cover, air conditioning, power windows, dash clock, cassette, wood shift knob, dash and door trim, books.

Evaluation: Showing 21,911 miles, and that’s a reasonable number. There isn’t much history represented, but this is the nicest Biturbo I’ve ever seen, not that the standards are that high as many of these were trashed years ago. The paint and interior barely look three years old, let alone 35, and the wheels look brand new. Provided there aren’t any big bills waiting under the hood this could be a great car for someone eccentric enough to actually want a Biturbo.

Bottom Line: If you ever said “I’m thinking about buying a Maserati Biturbo at auction” to any of your enthusiast friends, they’d shake you and tell you to snap out of it. It’s the Maserati everybody loves to hate, and there are reasons for that.

Shortly after Alejandro DeTomaso took control of Maserati in the mid-1970s, he elected to develop a mass-produced and low-cost (by Maserati standards) performance car in an effort to keep the company solvent. The result was the Biturbo, which hit US shores in 1984. The Biturbo got incrementally better and eventually birthed some neat 1990s spinoffs like the Karif and Shamal, but only the Biturbo was sold here until 1990 and its reputation is, let’s say, a little tarnished. Inconsistent build quality, carb/turbo problems and spotty dealer support didn’t do the car any favors. Neither did the cost of parts, the complicated maintenance, and the fact that values for the Biturbo depreciated like a stone and pretty much stayed there while the price of parts and service stayed expensive. It’s a familiar story with complex specialty cars.

Many of the Biturbos still riding on all four wheels are little more than parts cars, but this one is an absolute stunner treated like something a lot more precious than it is. It sold for $50,925 on Bring a Trailer in May 2022, from one of the premier sellers on that platform who deals in low-mile specialty cars and has pro-quality photos on all his listings. The presentation wasn’t quite so glitzy at Mecum and the excitement of someone actually having a mint Biturbo had apparently worn off a bit, which is likely what explains the price dropping by almost half. We’re not sure whether that BaT buyer had buyer’s remorse, decided they didn’t like the car or something else, but this certainly isn’t the first time somebody lost money on an old Maserati.

by Andrew Newton
18 November 2022
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Condition definitions
Condition #1: Concours
Condition #1 vehicles are the best in the world. The visual image is of the best vehicle, in the right colors, driving onto the lawn at the finest concours. Perfectly clean, the vehicle has been groomed down to the tire treads. Painted and chromed surfaces are mirror-like. Dust and dirt are banned, and materials used are correct and superbly fitted. The one word description for #1 vehicles is “concours.“
Condition #2: Excellent
#2 vehicles could win a local or regional show. They can be former #1 vehicles that have been driven or have aged. Seasoned observers will have to look closely for flaws, but will be able to find some not seen by the general public. The paint, chrome, glass and finishes will all appear as excellent. No excessive smoke will be seen on startup, no unusual noises will emanate from the engine. The vehicle will drive as a new vehicle of its era would. The one word description for #2 vehicles is “excellent.“
Condition #3: Good
#3 vehicles could possess some, but not all of the issues of a #4 vehicle, but they will be balanced by other factors such as a fresh paint job or a new, correct interior where applicable. #3 vehicles drive and run well, but might have some incorrect parts. These vehicles are not used for daily transportation but are ready for a long tour without excuses, and the casual passerby will not find any visual flaws. “Good” is the one word description of a #3 vehicle.
Condition #4: Fair
#4 vehicles are daily drivers, with flaws visible to the naked eye. The chrome might have pitting or scratches, the windshield might be chipped. Paintwork is imperfect, and perhaps the body has a minor dent. Split seams or a cracked dash, where applicable, might be present. No major parts are missing, but the wheels could differ from the originals, or other non- stock additions might be present. A #4 vehicle can also be a deteriorated restoration. “Fair” is the one word that describes a #4 vehicle.
Condition #5: Poor
Running, but battered, incomplete, and perhaps rusty.
Condition #6: Parts car
Parts car.
Hagerty only assigns condition ratings to vehicles we can inspect in person or, for online listings, via high-quality photography.